In 2001, the Royal Academy of Arts (RAA) bought 6 Burlington Gardens, a beautiful, listed building originally designed by Sir James Pennethorne for the University of London in the 19th century. From 2008, the Royal Academy worked towards a masterplan that would reunite Burlington House and Burlington Gardens, opening up a new space to exhibit art and host lectures and debates. The new Royal Academy of Arts opened on 19 May 2018, in time for their 250th anniversary.
IN2 created a coordinated BIM model and developed this to LOD 500. This project is the largest development in the history of the academy since 1868 when the grand galleries were built.
Building on their heritage as a place of rigorous and lively debate, the lecture theatre is being reinstated as part of the redevelopment designs. The redevelopment will allow the RAA to properly use 6 Burlington Gardens by linking the two buildings with Burlington Gardens being redeveloped. A corridor and stairs will be inserted through the academy’s schools linking the buildings. Burlington Gardens will then become a fully integrated space with galleries for contemporary exhibitions; a double-height lecture theatre with over 260 seats which can be used for conferences and films; an education area; and spaces to show the RAA permanent collection.
A third series of impressive gallery spaces for the Royal Academy were also refurbished in the first floor south wing of Burlington Gardens. The suite of three conditioned galleries will be naturally day lit by reinstating the original roof lights along with other historic features including the cassette ceiling of the original reading room.
The new RA opened to the public on 19 May 2018, marking the occasion with a weekend-long art party. For the first time, visitors to the RAA could see the treasures of our Collection on free display in brand-new galleries, wander from Burlington House to Burlington Gardens via our newly opened-up Vaults, and attend talks and workshops in the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre and Clore Learning Centre.